As Hurricane Sandy loomed over the East Coast Sunday into Monday, the entertainment industry in New York City and other locations on the coast was brought to a halt. Some shows and theaters continued to soldier on through the storm.
As the wind got heavier and the rain came down harder, many New Yorkers left Manhattan and surrounding low-lying areas for higher ground and safety. Since New York City is one of the largest entertainment producers in the country, many people in the nation felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy beyond its destructive power.
In a move to keep crews off the streets, New York City officials revoked all filming permits for Monday and Tuesday. Many theaters on Broadway shut down for the storm, and famous theaters such as Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall were closed until Wednesday. Several concerts and galas were also cancelled or postponed for later dates. Among the performances cancelled were comedian Louis C.K. and singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright.
Many nationally televised shows were either cancelled or run with a skeleton crew and no audience. The Late Show with David Letterman decided to tape without an audience Monday. He made the joke that there was no audience because they didn’t want to put the audience in jeopardy, but that they had been doing that for 30 years already. Many television reviews said that even without the live audience, the show went well with guest Denzel Washington playing along with the hurricane jokes as well. Other late night talk shows remained on the air as well, with the exception of Jimmy Kimmel, who had come to New York to do a week of shows canceling the first taping on Monday.
Because of Hurricane Sandy, many networks decided to air reruns of shows in syndication from their New York hubs in order to keep the station on the air and not have many crewmembers in harm’s way. Some networks ran new installments of episodes, but in areas where the hurricane was striking, many local news stations were running 24-hour news coverage of the storm. Television and theaters are expected to return to regular shows by Wednesday.
Hurricane Sandy was a broad and powerful storm that barreled into the Mid-Atlantic region causing severe damage and flooding. New York City was not affected so much by the proper hurricane, but by the winds and storm surges that accompanied the system.